Legal honorific: Abbr.

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Possible Answers: ESQ.

Last seen on: LA Times Crossword 11 Jun 21, Friday

Random information on the term “ESQ”:

Esquire (/ɪˈskwaɪər/, US also /ˈɛskwaɪər/; abbreviated Esq.) is usually a courtesy title.

In the United Kingdom, Esquire historically was a title of respect accorded to men of higher social rank, particularly members of the landed gentry above the rank of gentleman and below the rank of knight. The 1826 edition of William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England reiterated that “the title should be limited to those only who bear an office of trust under the Crown and who are styled esquires by the king in their commissions and appointments; and all, I conceive, who are once honoured by the king with the title of esquire have a right to that distinction for life.”

By the early 20th century, it came to be used as a general courtesy title for any man in a formal setting, usually as a suffix to his name, as in “Todd Smith, Esq.”, with no precise significance. In the United Kingdom today, it is still occasionally used as a written style of address in formal or professional correspondence. In certain formal contexts, it remains an indication of a social status that is recognised in the order of precedence. In the legal profession, the title is available for Barristers who have achieved the rank of Queens Counsel because they are designated as Esquire on their Letters Patent, but the name of every male (but not female) barrister will be followed by ‘Esquire’ painted on the wig tins provided by Ede & Ravenscroft, the traditional suppliers, and this reflects a long-standing contention by members of the Bar that they are entitled to be designated Esquires by virtue of their profession (see references to Boutell and Parker from the nineteenth century, below).

ESQ on Wikipedia